OTTAWA, March 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's largest federal public sector union is calling on the government to put an end to mixed messages and the secrecy surrounding how much it wants to cut, when, where and how.
"This government says it is creating jobs and growth and isn't pursuing an austerity agenda, but it hasn't backed away from its threat to cut spending by up to $10 billion," said PSAC National President John Gordon. "These cuts would leave Canadians without the services they need, put tens of thousands of people out of work and shrink the economy."
Gordon said he believes the upcoming federal budget will tell Canadians very little about the government's plans.
"The government is hiding behind secrecy and mixed messages because it knows its austerity agenda won't stand up to public scrutiny and we worry it is going to implement its austerity agenda with cuts by stealth," said Gordon. "We are calling for an end to all this secrecy and for this government to implement an accountable, transparent plan that protects our economy and the public services Canadians rely on," he added.
Gordon made the call at a media briefing on Parliament Hill today, along with workers who provide services to seniors and veterans, inspect food and coordinate search and rescue. They were joined by members of the public and advocacy groups warning that cuts are already devastating key services that Canadians rely on.
"These workers care very much about the Canadians who rely on them, and just want the government to care too," said Gordon.
The union's calls for transparency and accountability are contained in PSAC's "A Better Way Forward for Canadians" position paper which asks the government to put cuts on hold pending a public review of the social and economic impact of existing cuts.
The union also wants government to protect the environment and health and safety by investing in, not cutting inspectors, regulators and scientific research, and calls for an end to wasteful spending on consultants, temp agencies, fighter jets and corporate tax cuts.
PSAC's ThirdChoice.ca social media campaign has included the release of four on-line videos that have together garnered a combined 350,000 views on YouTube.
For further information:
Ariel Troster, PSAC communications, 613-292-8363 (mobile)